Skip to main content

Full text of "The Rev. Arthur Mursell on the Parnellite split"

See other formats


5" 



LEAFLET No. CO.] [SIXTH SERIES. 

THE REV. ARTHUR MURSELL 



ON 



THE PARNELUTE SPLIT 



The Clapham Observer gives the following account of a sermon, 
dealing with the events of the past year, recently preached at 
Stock well Baptist Church by the Eev. Arthur Mursell. Taking 
for his text Psalm cii. 27, and for his key-note the well-known 
lines : — 

" Love for a year, a week, a day ; 
But for the love that loves alway ! " 

the preacher thus alluded to the great political crisis of the 
day:— 

" Charity is ingenious ; and it certainly needs to be if it is to 
devise an outlet for the dignified retreat of a misplaced con- 
fidence. It is sufficiently galling to be befooled and gulled, 
without those who have warned us of the trap assuming a 
superior air, and pelting us with the cry ' I told you so/ I once 
went through a hardware manufactory where the workmen were 
casting little metal figures which were to be exported for idols. 
It is no part of trade to ask the purpose or the application of its 
wares. All it has to do is to execute the order at ' per gross ' 
and get the 'parcel' ready according to contract. So the 
Christian firm in Birmingham was busy with commendable 
assiduity at its consignment of goods for the Mumbo Jumbo 
market ; and the crate was packed and shipped on Saturday, to 
give emphasis to the merchant's Sunday ' Amen ' to the prayer 
that the idols may be utterly abolished. There is a grotesque- 
ness mingled with the anomaly which abates its melancholy. 
And it certainly does not stand alone amongst contemporary 
inconsistencies. We have had a good deal of making and 
unmaking of idols lately; and now we have the spectacle of 
honest men waiting for the order from the professional keepers 
of their brains and consciences before they can make up 
their minds whether to enlist the King's horses and men in 
reinstating their fallen Dagons or in kicking the debris out of 
the way. The technical failure of a piece of evidence upon one 
count in a grave and criminal indictment raised from a vast 
section of the ■ dumb driven cattle ' of opportunism a roar of 

[255 



( 2 ) 

sympathy with the accused, and no martyr for a saintly truth 
was ever more effusively canonized than the ignoble hero of the 
drama. It was not enough that the guilt of a criminal conspiracy 
to defeat law and to despoil proprietors was brought home. It 
was not enough that incitement to riot, robbery, rapine, cruelty, 
and violence of nameless kinds, in which neither dumb animals 
nor sex nor age in human rank were spared, was proved ; or that 
almost all the arts and expedients of treason, except the bravery 
to take its penalty without complaint, were judicially 
demonstrated : a flaw in the evidence concerning certain letters 
was enough, and rabid sentiment fell prone before the shrine of 
outraged virtue. The preposterous and demoralizing revelations 
which have for the moment changed this cry, and quenched this 
false oblation, are too patent to need exposure, and too revolting 
to admit it here. The saddest feature in regard to them is the 
reticence which forbore to frown till holy horror of a personal 
delinquency was demanded as a poor political expedient. It 
needed a protest from the Nonconformist ranks to stir the 
priestly hierarchy to condemnation, and to move a once great 
English statesman to repudiate an alliance so notoriously tainted. 
As soon as this latter word was sanctimoniously given, the crowd 
of his claqueurs knew what to say, and cried ' Shame ! ' because 
they were told to do so. And yet this man was never half so 
fit to be the leader of the cause of treason, truculence, and 
dynamite as when he stood unmasked before the world as the 
assassin of the moral law. It were a forbidding task indeed to 
trace the doublings of intrigue in an unworthy strategy against 
Queen and country which have been the main features of the 
political drama of the year, though the persistent courage, 
humanity, and dignity with which they have been foiled is a 
refreshing side-light on the darkened picture. It is in the steady 
prosecution of this firmness and remedial enterprise that the true 
hopes of a struggling people must be found." — The Times % 
Monday, 12th January, 1891. 



2 S6j